Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer CPPS Event at NIAB 14 July - ONLY 12 PLACES LEFT

Summer CPPS Event at NIAB – Crops and Climate Change Workshop with Tour of NIAB's Innovation Farm

Come and join us for this Summer’s CPPS Workshop Day on 'Crops and Climate Change'!
Registration now open - download full programme

Where? NIAB's Innovation Farm, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE

When? Thu 14 July 2011, 9:30-16:00

Who will be speaking?
Andy Challinor (Institute of Climate and Atmosphere Science, Leeds
John Spink (Head of Crop Science Dept., Teagasc Crops)
Richard Summers (Leader on Cereal Breeding, RAGT)
Eric Ober (Group Leader Crop Physiology, Broom’s Barn-Rothamsted Research)

What else is on?
- Poster booster sessions – please bring posters of your work to discuss with other delegates!
- A guided tour round NIAB's Innovation Farm in the afternoon
- Lots of opportunity for networking over coffee, tea and during lunch

How do I register?
Easiest via web-registration:; payment can also be arranged via phone (01223 342344; Angus Hamilton), or email ( As a CPPS contact you will be registered at the discounted rate of £30 + VAT. For non-payment related enquiries please contact Claire Pumfrey ( or BeatrixSchlarb-Ridley (

I want to bring a poster!

Excellent – we would like to have posters from as many delegates as possible. Please email your poster title to Claire Pumfrey ( after you have registered.

Preparations for first Fascination of Plants Day in Europe (18 May 2012) through EPSO "Z√ľndsatz Group"

This day shall be a Europe-wide initiative bringing back understanding and appreciation of plant science and plant research to the lay public; an initiative which CPPS members may want to be involved with. The organizers have provided the following information:

Planning and accomplishing the Fascination of Plants Day will be based onto two pillars:

i) The broad pillar:

As many plant science and research institutes as possible start to prepare for their individual activities for that day. These can be open lab days, public discussions and/or press conferences with selected scientists, farmers, plant breeders, environmentalists, ecologists, etc. Of course, all EPSO member institutions are kindly asked to actively attend. Beyond, other institutions like plant breeding companies, farmer associations, learned societies, etc., should be involved. Contacts to some learned societies in DK, UK, FR, DE, PL and CZ are already affirmed.

ii) The central pillar:

Under the umbrella of EPSO, the Fascination of Plants Day will be concertedly announced to the main multipliers of newscasts in the respective European countries, i.e. the nation-wide newspapers and selected broadcast stations as well as the Discovery Channel. In addition, local newspapers and radio/TV stations shall be approached in a city or area where a participating institution is located. Finally, facebook and other social networks shall be "programmed" for advertising the Fascination of Plants Day .To make all information about the Fascination of Plants Day's initiative as appealing as possible (information should be in the form of press releases, press kits, bills, posters, etc.) a prominent person is to be sought who should be someone very well known to the European public. This person then becomes the patron of the Fascination of Plants Day. Optimally, somebody from entertainment industry or another VIP should be engaged. We are looking forward to have suggestions from you!

A professional designer will be approached to draft a logo and a corporate design for the Fascination of Plants Day, which has to be consistantly used by all participating institutions. Further, a roadmap for all single and consecutive activities will be prepared and distributed to all EPSO members immediately after the EPSO General Meeting in Paris mid of June.

After the General Meeting, all work will start and hence, we are very happy if the Fascination of Plants Day - Working Group could get some more members. Optimally, we would like to have at least one contact person from each European Country (non Europeans are of course also kindly asked!), not at least because we need native speakers from the given nations who translate all Fascination of Plants Day info into their mother tongues! At present, the working group consists of Heike Mikschofsky (DE), Joachim Schiemann (DE), Manuela Dahinden (CH), Franziska Humair (CH), Luca Wacker (CH), Lynley Brown (NZ), Emma Timewell (UK), Dee Rawsthorne (UK), and Tristan Bunn (UK).

For further information and to register interest in participating, please contact Dee Rawsthorne (; UK contact) or Jan Kellmann (; central coordinator of the Fascination of Plants Day).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Research Project at BSPB available

Research Project - Building a Portfolio of Material on Plant Breeding Successes for BSPB's Communications Programme

Do you have a knowledge and understanding of crop improvement, an inquiring mind, great communication skills, a desire to make contacts and gain experience in the communication of science and the plant breeding industry and some time to spare in the next few months? If so, BSPB would like to hear from you.

BSPB is the representative association for the commercial plant breeding industry in the UK. Our 59 members are breeders and breeders’ agents for varieties of agricultural crops, vegetable seed for the professional market and amenity grass. Our main functions as a Society are licensing and royalty collection on certified and farm saved seed, the organisation of variety trials, representing our members on regulatory, technical and IP matters and communicating the role and importance of commercial plant breeding. We have recently revised our Communications strategy to address a broad audience, targeting particularly MPs and MEPs, other policy makers, regulators, R & D funders and royalty payers, including farmers who pay royalties on farm saved seed.

We want to develop a comprehensive portfolio of stories, articles, data, images and video clips about plant breeding developments including specific achievements and breakthroughs in a broad range of crops, information about the benefits of plant breeding developments to users, examples of success from collaborative R & D and examples of effective translation of R & D into practice. This material will form a resource for developing printed material, presentations and our new web site.

We wish to appoint someone, possibly a student, for 2 months to source and collect this material through a programme of visits to plant breeding companies, research organisations and others. We are looking for an individual who has technical knowledge of plant breeding and crop improvement, excellent communication skills, self-motivation and organisational ability who has their own car and is able to travel within the UK to carry out this project.

If you are interested contact Penny Maplestone at the BSPB (Tel 01353 653201)